Clima East at COP 19 – Notes from our Key Expert (2)

Gender considerations are increasingly entering the UNFCCC agenda.

It is recognised that women, especially in the most vulnerable countries are disproportionally affected by climate change. Women in rural areas work in agriculture, provide food, water and fuel for their families, and are among the first to feel the impacts of climate change.

In Doha, the COP adopted a decision on promoting gender balance and improving the participation of women in UNFCCC negotiations and in the representation of Parties in bodies established pursuant to the Convention or the Kyoto Protocol. (Decision 23/CP.18). A workshop focussing on how to promote the participation of women in climate negotiations and the UNFCCC bodies was organised on 12 November at the COP in Warsaw, following recommendations of the Doha decision on gender issues.

Tuesday, 19 November was designated as a Gender Day at the Warsaw COP. The programme of the Gender Day envisages a high-level event: Vission 50/50: Women for Action on Climate Change, and a number of accompanying side events.

Countries of Eastern and Central Europe are traditionally well represented in terms of gender balance, in some countries, the number or female delegates equals or even exceeds the number of male delegates. However, the issue of gender balance in the UNFCCC bodies and meetings is just one aspect of how to address gender in climate related contexts. Women can play a greater role in adaptation, in education addressing climate change, as well as in mitigation.